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asheville Volume 7, No. 2 SPRING 2015


Brewing Success Alumni Lead in the Craft Beer Industry


Making the Grade with Admissions The Baseball Team Pitches In Chancellor Grant Hits the Ground Running



Brew Masters Meet the alumni who lead the industry (Photo by David Allen ’13)



Moving Forward Liberal arts leadership in the driver’s seat


Multiple Choice Examining the many factors in UNC Asheville’s admissions


Pitching In The baseball team hits a home run for community service



Joe Urgo



William K. Haggard

this spring semester, as my husband,


Jim, and I join you on this journey—


moving to our home on campus,

Buffy Bagwell

exploring our new hometown, and


getting to know more about the great


work at UNC Asheville. We’ve met


many wonderful colleagues, alumni,

Christine Riley

students and supporters along the


way, and I want to thank you all for

Heather Parlier


the warm welcome. Already, we’ve had the opportunity to contribute to our community—volunteering

Amy Jessee

for a Day On during MLK Day and announcing the impressive


statewide and regional economic impact of UNC Asheville.

Nanette Johnson, Mary Ann Lawrence PROJECT MANAGER

Carol Barnao

It’s thanks to your hard work that we add value through the high-


quality liberal arts education here at UNC Asheville. Our students

Aaron Dahlstrom ’09, Jon Elliston, Mike Gore, Debbie Griffith, Amy Jessee, Patricia LaHay, Steve Plever, Molly Smithson ’15, Melissa Stanz, Cory Thompson ’15

challenge chronicled in Around the Quad. Our alumni find

solve real-world problems, such as the social entrepreneurship


meaningful, satisfying careers, such as those featured in our cover

David Allen ’13, John Fletcher, Jameykay Huffman, Galen McGee ’08, Matt Rose, Erin Sattler ’15

story. Our student-athletes pitch in, with an impressive 20-year

UNC Asheville Magazine is published twice a year by UNC Asheville Communication and Marketing to give alumni and friends an accurate, lively view of the university—its people, programs and initiatives. Contact us at


record in the case of the baseball team. It’s this Bulldog determination that comes into focus in this issue of UNC Asheville Magazine —determination that combines competition


with community service, and merges classroom expertise with

Laura Herndon

compelling careers. That resiliency and grit are traits we look for in

Address Changes

our newest Bulldogs too, as you’ll learn in our feature story on the

Office of University Advancement & Alumni Giving CPO #3800 • UNC Asheville One University Heights • Asheville, NC 28804

admissions process. (Advance warning: there’s a quiz at the end.)

UNC Asheville enrolls more than 3,700 full- and part-time students in more than 30 programs leading to the bachelor’s degree as well as the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The university is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students or employees on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disabling condition or sexual orientation.

As one of the newest Bulldogs on campus, I’m also grateful to learn more about the work of our students, staff and faculty, who never stop in their efforts to make the campus community more efficient and effective. This issue of the magazine introduces us to the Blue Crew students who lead orientation, our internal auditor who volunteers

© UNC Asheville, April 2015

her time as an active member of the community, and our many faculty

32,500 copies of this magazine were printed on paper with recycled content at a cost of $15,990 or 49 cents each.

members who flip the classroom to improve their teaching.


We have several activities and events to look forward to this year,

2 10 25 26 31 32


including the return of Concerts on the Quad this summer, and I hope you will join me on campus this fall for the chancellor’s installation ceremony on September 19 to celebrate our shared path toward the future. It is a privilege, an honor and an awesome responsibility to serve as your seventh chancellor, to become blue, as our orientation leaders might call it, and to be a Bulldog. —Chancellor Mary K. Grant

ON THE COVER: Chris Ivesdal ’02 on his career path in the

brewing industry (Photo by David Allen ’13)

THE HEART OF BUSINESS Students Succeed in Social Entrepreneurship UNC Asheville students Madison Eddings and Ben Eisdorfer were awarded the grand prize from the 2015 UNC Social Entrepreneurship Conference—$3,000 to launch their business idea, Pro(TECH)t, wearable technology designed to prevent campus assault. Eddings, a sophomore majoring in biology, and Eisdorfer, a sophomore management student, competed against undergraduate teams from all 17 UNC system schools. The UNC Social Entrepreneurship Conference challenges students to identify some of North Carolina’s most pressing social problems, then take a business-oriented approach to solving them. Teams were judged based on market analysis and sustainability, social impact potential, and likelihood of success, as well as their formal presentation and question-and-answer session. “The success of these excellent students at this year’s competition demonstrates the value of interdisciplinarity and the liberal arts for the development of skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and communication,” said Edward Katz, associate provost and dean of university programs at UNC Asheville. “It also reflects the dedication and quality of our outstanding faculty and staff, who worked intensively with our students throughout the academic year to prepare for the event,” he said. Eddings and Eisdorfer began their development of Pro(TECH)t in an interdisciplinary studies course at UNC Asheville on the fundamentals of project and business-plan development, taught by a team of faculty leaders. The class culminated with a campus-wide competition judged by local entrepreneurs. Two teams— Pro(TECH)t and the CPR-training business HeartRacers—advanced to the state competition. Eddings and Eisdorfer plan to immediately invest their winnings into a patent for their device, which will feature real-time GPS that can be activated to send a signal to campus police when a wearer feels threatened. The course, Social Entrepreneurship: Your Ideas in Action, will be taught again in upcoming fall semesters.



The statewide social entrepreneurship winners showcase their work (above). Two teams advanced from the campus competition, judged by local entrepreneurs (below).


THE OUTDOOR SOUND OF MUSIC Concerts on the Quad Return Summer 2015 UNC Asheville’s Concerts on the Quad, once a fixture of Asheville’s summer calendar, will return in 2015. This summer’s lineup will feature five free concerts on UNC Asheville’s Quad, spanning many musical genres, and will include shows by two local Asheville bands. During its first 28 years, Concerts on the Quad had become a Monday-night tradition for many in greater Asheville, bringing thousands to campus before the series ended at the close of the 2010 season due to lack of continued funding. Thanks to the financial support of community partners Mission Health and the Asheville Citizen-Times, UNC Asheville will be able to present See the concert schedule at the concerts once again, starting this June with Asheville-based Sirius.B, a large and eclectic ensemble.

COLLEGE CREDIT UNC Asheville Announces Dual Enrollment Agreement with Asheville City Schools Students of Asheville High School and SILSA (School of Inquiry & Life Sciences at Asheville) will be able to take courses at UNC Asheville while still in high school, beginning next fall as part of a new dual enrollment agreement signed in February. “What this means is that students from the Asheville City Schools, in addition to the excellent work that’s happening there, will be able to take real college courses for real college credits, which expedites the time toward a degree and exposes them to a higher level of work,” said UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary K. Grant.

“We are excited that our students will be able to extend their learning throughout their tenure here at Asheville City Schools and work with a wonderful university. This is an opportunity for exposure to college. ... Our students will know there’s an avenue for success.” —Pamela Baldwin, Asheville City Schools Superintendent




EDUCATIONAL VALUE Public higher education institutions in Western North Carolina injected at least $2 billion into the state economy during the 2012–13 fiscal year through the combined impact of payroll, operational, construction and research expenditures by universities and community colleges, and the spending habits of our students, visitors and alumni. Of this $2 billion, roughly 75 percent or $1.52 billion remained right here in the 11 counties of WNC (Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Swain and Transylvania). Those are among the findings of a comprehensive study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) to examine the impact of higher education Chancellor Belcher from WCU, Chancellor Grant, and President King from A-B Tech on North Carolina. The EMSI study examannounce a $2 billion economic impact from public institutions in WNC. ined the combined impact of the University of North Carolina system, North Carolina Community College system and private institutions, and also civic and social fabric of our society, every single day,” said assessed the impact of individual UNC campuses, private UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary K. Grant. colleges and community colleges on their local economies. “This study demonstrates how vital public higher education Educational leaders in the WNC region joined together on is to North Carolina’s economy,” said UNC Asheville Board Feb. 20, in a collaborative celebration at the Asheville Area of Trustees Chair King Prather. “It’s compelling evidence Chamber of Commerce, to share specific impacts, including that UNC Asheville, as a great liberal arts university, is an added income, equivalent job creation, and the benefits genengine of regional growth and economic vitality, and contriberated for students, taxpayers and North Carolina as a whole. utes meaningfully to the economic, social and environmental sustainability and health of the state.” “This study makes real for all of us the extraordinary longterm benefits to North Carolina of investing in top-quality higher education. The financial return-on-investment is stantial, but it is really only part of the story: Graduates from all of our institutions are making a crucial difference in the

MAKING AN IMPACT UNC Asheville Rated Third Nationally on New Princeton Review List UNC Asheville ranks third nationally on the “Best Schools for Making an Impact” list, part of The Princeton Review’s new college rankings guide, Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In— 2015 Edition. UNC Asheville is one of only four public universities included on the “making an impact” list.




Statewide Study Shows Higher Education Drives the Economy




Energy-Efficient Upgrades Bring Cost Savings

Faculty, Staff and Students Recognized for Service and Achievements

UNC Asheville is undertaking a $3.2 million project to upgrade the majority of all indoor and exterior lighting on campus to energy-efficient LED fixtures, as part of a University of North Carolina system-wide campaign to reduce the energy intensity of its facilities by 30 percent between 2002 and 2015. The project, estimated to save at least $468,000 in energy costs per year, is expected to be completed by the end of May, with utilities savings guaranteed and used to pay back the debt incurred. The lighting upgrade initiative is projected to save at least $3.5 million annually across 12 of the system’s campuses.

UNC Asheville senior Stephanie Watkins-Cruz has been recognized for outstanding leadership and service by North Carolina Campus Compact, a statewide network of colleges and universities that are committed to community engagement. WatkinsCruz is a recipient of the network’s Community Impact Student Award, which honors one student leader at each member school. UNC Asheville Professor of Physics Randy Booker was honored for his teaching and mentorship at the winter meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers. Booker received the 2014 Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award issued by the national Society of Physics Students (SPS). Chancellor Emerita Anne Ponder was honored at the annual meeting of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) for her decades of leadership in higher education. Ponder served as chancellor of UNC Asheville for nine years, retiring in summer 2014. It was during Ponder’s tenure that COPLAC selected UNC Asheville as its national headquarters.

CASE STUDIES Websites, Videos and Publications Earn Awards UNC Asheville Magazine was recognized at the annual conference of the southeast region of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), earning an award of excellence in the Magazine I category and special merit in magazine improvement for the fall 2013 redesign. In addition, UNC Asheville earned top honors with a grand award for the website redesign, special merit for the recruitment video, an award of excellence for the 30-second commercial Experience UNC Asheville, special merit for the fundraising publication Investing in Success, and special merit for media relations about The Virtual Lincoln Project.

Watch the recruitment video at




The UNC Asheville campus community first met Mary K. Grant on August 1, 2014, when she stepped into the driver’s seat of the university, accepting UNC system President Thomas Ross’

nomination to become the seventh chancellor. A four-hour bus ride with faculty and students back to Asheville followed her appointment by the Board of Governors in Chapel Hill. Chancellor Grant has stayed on the move since then—learning about her new hometown and moving into Pisgah House in January. UNC Asheville Magazine followed Chancellor Grant during her first months and on social media @AvlChancellor to get a glimpse at the road ahead. Here, we share a few of the first impressions from

Photo by Erin Sattler

students, staff, faculty and the Asheville community.

“From the ‘Welcome Back’ video to her participation in the MLK Day of Service, she has made it clear that students are one of her main priorities as chancellor.”

Photo by Debbie Griffith

—Leigh C. Whittaker, senior, former UNC Asheville Student Government Association president, and current student body vice president of the UNC system



AUG 1, 2014


Despite the long day capped with an even longer bus ride, Grant was still smiling, still chatting with students on the bus, posing for “selfies” and jumping behind the wheel at a rest stop to pose for yet another photo. In the middle of the journey, she took the time to make a phone call to her team at her former college, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, to thank them for their hard work. “We’re going to have some fun,” Grant said in her acceptance of the nomination to become UNC Asheville’s seventh chancellor, “The need has never been stronger for the work that we do, and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and being part of it. I bring to this work a deep passion for how public higher education can change lives and how the liberal arts transforms those lives in the process.”

JAN 19, 2015


Chancellor Grant sat on the floor with an elementary school student and patiently cut out letters and numbers from construction paper. It was a part of the MLK Day of Service project in which dozens of UNC Asheville students, faculty and staff volunteer for community projects. “The little girl told me I wasn’t very good with the scissors, so I was relegated to glue stick duty,” the chancellor recalled. “I had a great time, and it was really special for me to talk with this little girl and to learn her story and to meet the staff and volunteers at the YWCA.”

JAN 29, 2015


Seated at the head table, Grant engaged with Rotary leadership. Her first-ever off-campus speech as UNC Asheville’s chancellor was a hit. With self-deprecating humor and revealing stories of growing up in Massachusetts, she told the crowd why a liberal arts education is transformational—for herself and for the students she serves. “I work in the business of the future, for opportunities to make a difference, and I’m delighted to think about all the ways we can do this work together,” she said.

From the time we first met on the bus ride up, I noticed her high energy and visibility. … My hopes for Chancellor Grant are that she uses that amazing energy to truly listen and engage with student needs. I hope she will find that the students that truly care about the issue of diversity want to pursue improving campus with her, not without her.

I’ve always found Chancellor Grant to be a good listener, a thoughtful consensus builder, a strong and consistent advocate for college access and the value of the liberal arts and sciences.

I’ve noticed many times that whenever Mary Grant speaks, people listen to her. She seems never to get tired, she has the ability to continue to think creatively and to continually generate ideas.

—Bill Spellman, executive director, Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC)

—Joe Urgo, UNC Asheville Provost

—Stephanie Watkins-Cruz, senior, political science, Charlotte SPRING 2015


JAN 31, 2015


The stands in the Sherrill Center/Kimmel Arena were pretty bare, but a valiant women’s basketball team ran up and down the court giving it their all despite the sparse crowd. Their No. 1 fans were there however, with Grant and her husband, Jim Canavan, cheering, clapping and smiling, always smiling.

FEB 20, 2015


With a meeting room full of area alumni, business leaders, legislators and members of the Board of Governors, Grant and Chancellor David Belcher of Western Carolina University stood behind the podium with Dennis King, president of A-B Tech, to celebrate the release of a report that showed a $2 billion economic impact from WNC public universities and community colleges. The leaders were articulate and proud, and Chancellor Grant used this opportunity to congratulate two UNC Asheville students in attendance, who recently placed first within the UNC system social entrepreneurship competition. “You can look at the numbers, but what we have is an impact that goes beyond the confines of the classroom; what we have is an impact in changing lives in this community,” she said.

My first encounter with Chancellor Grant was at the Asheville Rotary Club meeting, She pulled off an articulate, humorous and poignant keynote speech, which smoothly intertwined UNC Asheville’s message, support for the liberal arts, service, public education, and her own backstory. I am happy to call her a fellow Bulldog. —Gray Barrett, junior, international studies, Maryville, Tenn.



If I were to use one word to describe Chancellor Grant it would be ‘engaging.’ After meeting the chancellor last fall I was impressed by her desire for and interest in community engagement. —Darin Waters, assistant professor of history

Mary is very warm and easy to talk to. She’s very obviously excited to be at UNC Asheville and eager to meet and hear opinions of the community. The one word that I would use to describe my first impression would be ‘genuine.’ —Wilma Sherrill, UNC Asheville Board of Trustees

I was exhilarated as Chancellor Grant described all she’d accomplished on and off campus in just a few short weeks… She’s a whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm. I believe she has the ability to make lots of good things happen at UNC Asheville. —Pat Smith, chair-elect, UNC Asheville Board of Trustees

Photos by David Allen ’13

UNC Asheville has hit another home run in choosing Dr. Mary Grant as Chancellor! She obviously will be a fast study in effectively matching our student and university needs with our limited financial resources. —Ed Broadwell, chairman/ CEO emeritus, HomeTrust Bank, Asheville

I predict that she will move UNC Asheville forward both as an academic institution and a community organization. —Don Locke, retired director of Diversity and Multiculturalism at UNC Asheville

She clearly understands that our future success will come through building strong partnerships in the community and across the state, and I feel confident her work will solidify UNC Asheville’s status as the state’s pre-eminent undergraduate institution. —John D. Noor ’07, attorney, Roberts & Stevens, P.A. Asheville




BECOMING BLUE Students Embark as Orientation Leaders Long before summer, before the first incoming student arrives on campus for orientation, the Blue Crew chants.


“Everybody remembers ‘Bulldog Rumble,’ right?” says Taylor Heise, the 18-year-old sophomore from Burlington, N.C., who serves as head orientation leader for the team of 20 students. “It’s the same one we did last week.”



The group claps and cheers as if to welcome a parade marching beside them along the tiled Karpen Hall corridor. When the last giggle subsides, Heise calls the class into order and explains another spirited chant. In her other classes, Heise studies psychology and creative writing. But every Wednesday during the spring semester,

By Cory A. Thompson ’15

she trains to be a leader. Not only a leader of orientees, but a leader worthy of directing her peers. “It requires an incredible amount of preparation and follow-through to be the head orientation leader,” says Stephanie Franklin, the Blue Crew’s supervisor and UNC Asheville’s director of Transition and Parent Programs.


“Taylor’s able to clearly communicate what’s happening with a variety of different groups on campus. She has really taken the responsibility seriously and is doing a phenomenal job.” Functionally, embark orientation season is a marathon running the entire month of June. Freshman orientation sessions are two-day affairs, which last from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on day one and 8 a.m.

group. He’s served as patrol leader in Boy Scouts and filled a leadership role in his high school marching band. Still, he says the Orientation Leader program offers new challenges for someone experienced with being in charge. “They say some people are born leaders and others are not, but that’s not always true,” Todd says. “People can become strong leaders through whatever trials

“We’re also becoming co-workers. We’re developing an understanding for how we lead and how our peers lead. We strengthen ourselves by learning our weaknesses.” — Torey Todd ’17 Taylor Heise ’17 becomes blue for homecoming.

to 4 p.m. on day two, plus a one-day session for transfer students. Two orientation leaders handle every group, and these orientation teams are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the newest Bulldogs. Like all marathon athletes, the Blue Crew trains all year round. “In addition to the class, they go to a conference every year in March to learn how to apply certain skills to help them become better leaders,” Franklin says. “It’s much more of an involved process than most people realize.” In class, the student-leaders study the history of the orientation program and what it means to be a leader. They prepare chants for midyear events like homecoming. For orientation leaders hired between June seasons, the class provides newbies, like sophomore Torey Todd, a safe space to cut their teeth before the intensity of summer.

they’ve had. The biggest issue for me is learning how to lead in a team.” Heise says she wants the Blue Crew to resemble a family by the time the first orientees arrive in June, and, according to Todd, her effort is paying off. “We can all be leaders alone, but being leaders together is the big goal,” Todd says. “We’re getting together every Wednesday night and we’re becoming friends, but we’re also becoming coworkers. We’re developing an understanding for how we lead and how our peers lead. We strengthen ourselves by learning our weaknesses.” Heise says she remembers her first class being informative, but nowhere near as transformative as her first orientation season. She says her family has remarked on how much more extroverted her role has made her.

people directions. It really drew me out of my shell and was unlike anything I’d really experienced before. At home, I lived on a farm far away from everybody I knew.” Heise says her transformation during orientation is fitting, especially because orientation bookends the monumental life shift of going to a university. “I see orientation as a way for students to realize that their entire life is about to change,” Heise says. “They are about to enter a new part of their life which they’re probably not expecting to be as dramatic of a change as it is … UNC Asheville is school as school should be.”

Senior mass communication and anthropology student Cory A. Thompson and senior health and wellness promotion

Todd, a 20-year-old sophomore studying biology from Black Mountain, N.C., says he’s no stranger to being a leader despite never leading an orientation

“I remember standing by the flagpole in the center of campus for four hours straight,” Heise says. “I just stood there answering questions and giving

major Erin Sattler became blue to write and photograph this story.






You can tell more in the fouryear portfolio and GPA about a student’s motivation and resilience than

I P L E ” C H O I C E you can from four hours of

taking a test.

Examining UNC Asheville Admissions WRITTEN BY AMY JESSEE

Taking a holistic approach to admissions means UNC Asheville factors in more than numbers to find students with the best fit and grit to succeed in college. It’s a multiplechoice scenario with more than one answer—for students searching for their perfect school and for a university balancing admissions criteria with a creative approach. SPRING 2015


A Critical Reading of the SAT he Admissions Office at UNC Asheville is not alone in reconsidering the weight of SAT scores. More than 800 four-year colleges have made the test optional in recent years, according to The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, which notes growing concerns about “undermatching,” where students don’t find the best fit at a school where they could succeed. “It goes along with the trend, but that’s not why we made the decision,” says Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bill Haggard. “We were looking inward


Finding the talent in our students means we have to go beyond the numbers.”


at our own processes and having candid discussions about why some students didn’t persist. We’ve hovered around 80 percent for our freshman to sophomore retention rate. So we looked more closely at the 20 percent to try to discover any patterns. The pattern that we found was that just because someone has a 1400 SAT score doesn’t mean they are going to do well here. So we questioned on what other variables we could place greater emphasis.” To understand those shared qualities for the group, UNC Asheville turned to Archer Gravely, a 30-year veteran as the director of institutional research.



“In the statistical models, we find that the high-school achievement measures have more weight than the SAT. The high-school performance measures give a good signal to the student’s motivation,” Gravely says, while stressing that it’s one of many factors to consider. “This holistic approach means we don’t rely on any single one measure, but instead we review the student’s academic performance in multiple ways,” explains Pat McClellan, assistant provost for academic administration. “We seek to find strong indicators of personal responsibility and achievement. The trick is, how do you measure that resilience? You know it when you see it, but it’s hard to define in any sort of quantitative way. There’s no resilience test that we are aware of.” However, there is the SAT, an admissions standard that has been tested through the years and one recently discussed by UNC Asheville in a recalibration of admissions standards. “This recalibration of our criteria makes admissions much more of an art than a science. It’s not just a series of metrics,” says UNC Asheville Provost Joe Urgo. “Finding the talent in our students means we have to go beyond the numbers.”

Calculating & Recalibrating Admissions Standards iterature and Language Professor Dee James, who is also director of the first-year writing program and a UNC Asheville alumna, remembers her own application process and echoes this approach. “I don’t think any one factor is a good predictor.


You need to examine an array of factors. Recalibrating makes sense because populations change, so what counts and how it counts and how we look at it and what we ask of our students needs to be revisited. This is a welcome idea, but politically it’s a tricky idea.” James cites how easy it is to sum up academic quality in a number such as an aggregate or average SAT score for an incoming class—a number that has kept UNC Asheville on par with schools such as UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State. Plus, she’s seen the evolution come full circle, starting with her recruitment in 1969 to integrate the women’s residence halls. “We cycle through,” she says. “By the time I had graduated, we were aiming for the more elite and high-end SAT scores. Then we went through a period of trying to serve more local and community needs through rebalancing our admissions practices. When I was a new faculty member 31 years ago, we had a large portion of nontraditional students, with an average age of 27. Then we decided as a liberal arts institution we would make a name for ourselves in the state with higher scores. We continually revisit how to serve well and who we are supposed to serve.” According to Urgo, that focus on students as individuals remains at the forefront. “It’s also acknowledging the changing demographic of students applying, including first-generation students, and setting a standard that treats them fairly,” he says. “As the American population gets more diverse—multiculturally and geographically—the challenge is about recognizing different ways that intelligence is manifest.”

M u l t i p le C for Stude hoices nts

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UNC Asheville still includes the SAT as part of its admission requirements. In fact, the 16 universities in the UNC system have a statewide standard of 800 on math and critical reading set by General Administration for fall 2013, with higher minimums decided by institutions, with some exceptions. This includes a pilot program in fall 2015 at North Carolina Central University, Elizabeth City State University and Fayetteville State University to admit students whose SAT/ACT scores are below the system’s minimum requirements but whose high-school GPAs are above the current standards. Each university also may apply for a chancellor’s exception to this minimum for individual students, limited to 1 percent of new applicants accepted. “We’ve never used a chancellor’s exception,” says Senior Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Shannon Earle. “But we take a critical look at our approach and find creative ways to make sure we are serving our students. We’ve found that you can tell more in the fouryear portfolio and GPA about a student’s motivation and resilience than you can from four hours of taking a test.”

Writing the Next Chapter in Higher Education Admissions tudents have more than a test score, GPA and transcripts to make an impression, and in many cases the essay is the place on the application where students can show how they are the best fit for UNC Asheville. “We read everything—the essays, the recommendations, the transcripts and the test scores,” says Earle. “Admissions counselors do not use computer software to filter applications. It’s a more personal approach. One person reads your entire application.” That’s why admissions counselors at UNC Asheville often know students by name the first time they come into the office for a tour or an interview or call with questions. They have about 24 pages to get to know each student, for more than 2,500 applicants. These details of a student’s achievements are something faculty are interested in as well. “What I think most faculty members want are students who are committed, hard-working, responsible, well-rounded people, who intend to create lives of


We read everything—the essays, the recommendations, the transcripts and the test scores ... It’s a more personal approach. One person reads your entire application.” —SHANNON EARLE, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS AND FINANCIAL AID



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2.b, 3.d, 4.d

, 5.d

meaning and who embrace their responsibility to contribute to the betterment of the world as global citizens,” says Dee Eggers, associate professor of environmental studies and chair of the faculty senate. “Now, most high-school students don’t talk about such things, but we see evidence of those tendencies in the choices they make. For example, the courses students chose to take are quite telling. Are they in AP Physics and AP English Literature? Then they probably know how to work hard and are invested in their own futures. A background in athletics also is a good indicator of work ethic, responsibility, discipline—all factors that contribute to success in the classroom.” Of course, the process and the questions have changed. Just 10 years ago, UNC Asheville used paper applications. Now, everything is online, with options for the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC), common app, and homegrown application, as Earle calls it. Other schools, such as Goucher College, have pushed the paper application even further, now accepting student videos instead of test scores, transcripts and recommendations. UNC Asheville hasn’t taken that digital step yet, but creative students can still find a way to stand out and get in. “With this holistic approach, we’ve seen an increase in accepts in Western North Carolina by 9 percent and an increase in self-reported underrepresented students,” says Earle. “That’s a benefit, but that was not the driving force. The driving force is to find the well-rounded student who will succeed at UNC Asheville. By doing that, we’ve opened up the door to a lot of students who will make a difference here and in the world.” 4






Photo by Galen McGee ’08


UNC Asheville alumni are rising to the top of the craft brew scene. Despite coming from a variety of different majors, these seven alumni prove that having a liberal arts education is a key ingredient for a successful career.

the Manager Evan Crutchfield ’06 manages sales for Asheville brewery Wicked Weed, but that doesn’t mean he’s completed his job once he secures a customer. Not only does Crutchfield check in with clients, he also runs outside events, helps with merchandising and even delivers some of the beer himself. “At small breweries it takes everybody doing lots of different things to make it all work.” Wicked Weed self-distributes its beer, which cuts costs and allows closer relations with customers. Crutchfield is especially useful to the relatively new brewery in that he’s worked in the craft beer industry as both a salesman and brewer himself for 11 years. “Not a lot of the guys in sales and distribution have brewing experience, so that’s why I’m part of the team, to kind of bridge the gap between the brewing world and the sales and distribution world,” he says. Crutchfield’s biology degree from UNC Asheville came in handy when he completed the Master Brewing program at University of California Davis, helping him bypass classes in biology, chemistry and physics. He also earned a professional brewers certificate. “I learned so much and I did so many things at UNC Asheville,” he says. “The more you know, the more you can relate and understand a lot of things. A lot of my job is talking to people about beer and brewing, but most of the time when you’re drinking beer, you’re being social, so those go hand in hand.”



the Brewmaster Asheville wasn’t always Beer City, USA. Now home to more than 20 breweries, the region has become a destination for craft beer lovers worldwide. And John Lyda ’89 helped put it on the map. As the brewmaster of Highland Brewing, Asheville’s first craft brewery, Lyda oversees the day-to-day operations of the company, making sure every drop of beer measures up to its standards. That focus on quality has been with the company since the beginning. “[In our early days] we dumped about 6,000 gallons of beer that was drinkable but wasn’t what we were looking for,” he says. “We don’t want to release anything that isn’t up to our standards.” Lyda has been with Highland since its inception in 1994, but his interest in brewing actually began much earlier. The person who got him started? His mother. “I’ve always liked good beer,” he says. “Even in college I didn’t drink the cheap stuff. My mom found a home-brewing kit in the church rummage sale and said, ‘Here, just make your own instead of buying that expensive beer you like.’” Lyda is still coming up with new recipes, as well as welding together parts of the assembly line. In fact, Highland’s brewing system was partially inspired by the industrial engineering courses taught by Professor Bob Yearout. “It was a well-rounded education. I graduated from UNC Asheville with a business degree after thinking I couldn’t do chemistry,” says the management major who avoided science labs in favor of on-the-job experience. “Turns out I could.”

Photo by David Allen ’13



the Attorney

Photo by Galen McGee ’08

By some characterizations, the craft beer world is an industry of self-taught rebels never content on following the leader. That’s why when it comes to legal matters, it’s good to have an attorney like Derek Allen ’93 on your side. “They want to do things their own way,” Allen says. “That’s what makes them great brewers. Those same things, from a business perspective, can get you in trouble.” The political science major earned his law degree from UNC Chapel Hill in 1997. Now an attorney at Ward and Smith P.A., in Asheville, Allen has made a name for himself, and his firm, specializing in the city’s favorite frothy beverage. His firm represents some of the biggest players in the craft beer scene, including New Belgium, Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada. “Their job is to brew and sell beer. Our job is to make sure there are no issues that prohibit them from doing that,” he says. Allen never imagined his legal career would focus on alcoholic beverage law. Rather, the business found him, after the owner of Oskar Blues contacted his office to help them handle some legal matters when they were opening their Western North Carolina location. “Beer may be the end result, but behind the scenes, a whole host of legal matters could be fermenting. Manufacturing laws, trademarks, zoning and other legal issues can financially cripple a brewery if they are not careful.” Making good beer may be the easiest part of it. SPRING 2015


the Owner

For Ashleigh Carter ’07 making beer is all about balance. It’s about bringing malt and hops together in harmony, but it’s also about combining intellectual and physical work together for one purpose. “I needed to tie mental work with physical work. Brewing does both of those things: combining physical activity and labor with thinking.” Carter is the co-owner and head brewer at Bierstadt Lagerhaus, a microbrewery in Denver, Colo., that will specialize in lagers when it opens it taps this summer. Last year, she traveled to Germany to purchase a copper brewing system dating back before World War II. Pairing smarts and strength is something that Carter learned well at UNC Asheville. As a member of the women’s soccer team, she was expected to be at the top of her game both in the classroom and on the field. After a sports injury sidelined her graduate school plans, Carter decided to investigate the brewing industry, apprenticing and volunteering to get her foot in the door. She credits soccer coach Michelle Cornish with teaching her how to improve upon her weaknesses and excel at her strengths. Carter has balanced that determination with a calculated approach, applying her mathematics degree to the details of a business plan and carefully measured recipes for her signature beers.


Photo by Bettina Wang



the Guide

When Chris Ivesdal ’02 moved to Asheville in 1996, he only knew of one or two breweries in the area. Now, the UNC Asheville management graduate believes we’re on the path to universal craft beer domination. “This area will become a world brewing center. I’m already seeing tourists from all over the world coming to experience beer.” Ivesdal is in the perfect position to see that transition as a tour guide at Sierra Nevada, which gave Asheville a stamp of approval when they selected the area as their East Coast location. He finds his liberal arts education especially useful when telling visitors about the wonderful world of beer. “All those presentations that I gave while in the management department really paid off,” Ivesdal says.

“I think to humanities when I’m discussing the evolution of beer styles. Any work with chemistry or biology is helpful when discussing the process of making beer.” Plus, he needs to constantly adapt on his job, as Sierra Nevada continues to roll out various features on its 190-acre property in Mills River, which opened to the public in late 2014. “We are very lucky to have such a thriving craft beer community in Western North Carolina, which affords a need for not just brewers but people with all kinds of backgrounds and experience to work within this industry.”



Photo by David Allen ’13

the Suppliers

Photo by Mike Spencer

John and Michelle Savard ’11 have carried their love of craft brewing from the mountains all the way to the East Coast. John began home brewing with a friend from UNC Asheville. He worked at Asheville Brewers Supply and Craggie Brewing Company, until a move across the state took the couple away from the mountains and their favorite craft beers. “When we moved back home to Wilmington, we realized there was no homebrew shop and only one brewery,” Michelle says. “Having our little piece of the beer industry here in Wilmington really feels like we’ve brought a piece of Asheville with us.” John and Michelle opened Wilmington Homebrew Supply in 2012. They expanded their store in 2014 with the Wilmington Brewing Company. Now they’re serving up some of their own creations, which draw inspiration from throughout the country. “Our West Coast-style IPAs are our favorites and a favorite of our taproom,” Michelle says. Both credit UNC Asheville with providing tools and knowledge about running a small business. Michelle’s mass communication degree put her in charge of getting the word out to the community, while John applied management principles to their start-up. “No degree can ever give you all the information you’ll ever need for whatever job you do, but my management degree gave me the fundamentals that I built on to meet the needs of our business,” John says. 4




ACCOUNTING FOR THE COMMUNITY UNC Asheville’s Auditor Balances Education and Service

By Steve Plever


“I’m a believer that you need a liberal arts background to help you understand more than just number-crunching.” — Monique Taylor, UNC Asheville internal auditor

Monique Taylor must stand alone—it is a matter of professional ethics. As UNC Asheville’s internal auditor, she must be independent in fact and appearance. But outside of her daily job, she’s an active member of the community, partnering on projects and leading in teaching and service. Taylor may be best known on the UNC Asheville campus for her work as the volunteer director of the university’s VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance) program, engaging students in providing free income tax preparation for low- and moderate-income individuals in Asheville. Students at A-B Tech know her too—she teaches accounting there as an adjunct faculty member. Plus, she’s been a board member for Asheville Sister Cities and traveled to Nigeria to help establish Asheville’s sister cities relationship with Osogbo.

Then the YMI Cultural Center, which was struggling financially, invited her to join its board and bring in needed financial controls. As she got involved with the YMI, she also began work on a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Phoenix. Her thesis-in-progress is titled The Institutional Prioritization of Service. “The bulk of existing research is about students who have self-selected to do the service, and the outcomes look great,” she says. “But if students perform service as a requirement, do they still have that level of commitment to the activity? That’s what I’m trying to measure. … My belief is that the tone is set at the top of the organization. When they make service a priority, then you see a positive result.”

Taylor learned the service ethic from her family and has carried it through a 30-year accounting career that began almost by accident—she was talked into applying for her first accounting job by Howard University’s vice president for finance when she was in graduate school. Taylor holds two master’s degrees­— one in taxation and one in international development. She also has two undergraduate degrees­— one in political science and another in accounting. She worked for 17 years at Winston-Salem State University, developing the audit program there before moving to UNC Asheville in 2007. “As an auditor, you need to understand accounting, the foundational piece… but I’m a believer that you need a liberal arts background to help you understand more than just numbercrunching. You can look for underlying causes so your findings are more useful to management.”




TEACHING IMPACT A Front Seat in the Center for Teaching and Learning About 30 people sit in rows, listening intently as Professor of Psychology Melissa Himelein introduces the speaker for the day. They don’t look like average UNC Asheville students, but they are just as familiar with the classroom. That’s because the audience is faculty. The presentation, sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), focuses on ways to improve teaching and bolster student success, a frequent and popular topic. “There is a lot going on in higher education,” said Himelein, director of the center. “Students today are different than when most of us were in college. People want to learn about new approaches to teaching and learning to help them address some of those differences.” The Center for Teaching and Learning at UNC Asheville, founded in 1994, offers everything from orientation and

That variety may be a factor behind the high level of participation in CTL programs, which has nearly doubled in the last three years to nearly 65 percent of full-time faculty during the 2013–14 academic year. The numbers are even more impressive when stacked up against average participation in comparable programs at colleges and universities around the country. According to a recent report from Western Carolina University, only 30 to 40 percent of faculty take part in similar professional development programs nationwide.

Lunchtime Learning Monthly lunchtime workshops are quite popular and attract faculty from many academic departments. Sophie Mills, professor of classics, said the chance to talk to colleagues from other fields is the biggest draw.

“Students today are different than when most of us were in college. People want to learn about new approaches to teaching and learning to help them address some of those differences.” — Melissa Himelein, Center for Teaching and Learning director

mentoring for new faculty to programs designed to help mid-career and veteran faculty reinvigorate their classrooms, become more effective teachers and balance teaching with scholarship. Public events such as lunch workshops and small-group discussion circles are among the most visible, but the CTL provides more personal support too. Himelein consults with individual faculty, helps interpret teaching evaluations and peer reviews, and even surveys whole classes face to face to help instructors identify and address their strengths and weaknesses.



By Patricia LaHay

“It gets me out of my office. It gets me out of just engaging with stuff about classics,” Mills said. “It opens up thinking about new ways of teaching, new things that I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of to do myself.” At UNC Asheville, where exploring the connections between different subjects is considered the cornerstone of a liberal arts education, this kind of cross pollination is especially valuable.

Chemistry Professor George Heard calls the CTL “one of the most interdisciplinary units on campus.” “You’ll meet people at CTL meetings that you won’t meet anywhere else,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to discuss ideas with faculty in other departments, ideas that I can incorporate into my own teaching.”

Model Teaching Heard has presented at two lunchtime workshops to discuss a new teaching approach called the “flipped classroom.” In this model, students access lectures and PowerPoints— traditionally given in class—by computer on their own time



Faculty participate in a learning circle on “New Approaches to STEM Education”: (Top L–R) Greg Dillingham, manager of distance learning services; Becca Hale, assistant professor of biology, Melissa Himelein, professor of psychology and director of the CTL, and Susan Reiser, associate dean of physical sciences and lecturer in new media; (Bottom L–R) Paula Willis, adjunct assistant professor of physics; Steve Walsh, director of the NCSU Engineering Program at UNC Asheville; James Perkins, assistant professor of physics.

and spend class doing work that would ordinarily be takehome assignments. The presentations were so popular they had to be moved to larger rooms, Heard said. “I said to myself, Wow! People from everywhere want to come talk about this crazy way I’m teaching chemistry and compare it to what they are doing in their classes,” he said. “There’s someone from classics sitting right there, and someone from health and wellness in the back, and biology and economics.”

“Melissa gathered a lot of feedback from the students, who were much more open to talking because I wasn’t there,” he said. “She studied the results and wrote a report. We discussed it, so she was able to soften the blow on some of the feedback and point out some of the good things, the successes.” Because the in-class survey came in mid-semester, Perkins had time to adjust.

“It impacted my teaching in several specific ways,” he said. CTL has recently tackled topics such as universal design “I implemented some things that had come out of the stupractices to increase accessibility for students with physical dents’ feedback, and that showed up in a bunch of student or learning disabilities, issues facing first-generation college evaluations at the end of the term.” students, and new approaches to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education that have been shown to Perkins, Mills and Heard are generous in their praise for improve student learning. Himelein and credit her with much of the center’s success. But Himelein offers a different explanation for the strong participation in the program she directs. Classroom Colleagues James Perkins, assistant professor of physics, has attended several lunchtime workshops and discussion circles. One of the most valuable experiences, he said, was a classroom analysis that Himelein did during his second semester teaching at UNC Asheville.

“I give all the credit to the faculty wanting to learn how to be better teachers,” she said. “I am so highly impressed with my colleagues and how their involvement in CTL programs demonstrates their commitment to teaching.”



While all Bulldogs sports programs delve into community service, few can boast of a good deed done 20 years ago that people are still talking about.

pitching in

Community service goes hand-in-glove with Bulldog baseball WRITTEN BY JON ELLISTON


ack in January of 1995, UNC Asheville had a new baseball coach, Bill Hillier. He’d found the players’ locker room in sad shape and sought help from local business owners, Chris Young and his wife, Nina, of Office Environments. Hillier, who’s now a school teacher in Roxboro, N.C., remembers making his case to Young: “It’s so neglected, and it looks so bad, that it’s going to impact our recruiting. We can’t bring parents and recruits in there—we just don’t look the part.”



The company came through with donated lockers and office equipment for the baseball staff—“The coach won me over,” Young says—and the teams’ facility got a much-needed makeover. Just a few weeks later, though, Young found his own facility facing even bigger problems: The company’s 30,000-squarefoot warehouse in Biltmore Village was one among many impacted by major flooding. It was stocked with hundreds of pieces of new furniture on their way to the company’s clients. “We knew we were in big trouble,” Young says. “We couldn’t even get to the building at first. Everything was under water as far as you could see. When we

finally opened the doors, it was like a big bathtub, with the water three-feet deep. We had furniture floating around the place.” Dan Coker and Piedmont Paper, a neighboring business, offered a tractor-trailer to move the merchandise, and Young found a dry warehouse to relocate to. But it would take some serious heavy lifting to salvage the furniture before it was ruined. “It was pretty traumatic— you could see your business just going away,” Young says. “We were looking at ruin, to tell you truth.” But the next morning, when Young arrived at his building, “There were two

Eric Filipek ’97, captain of the team that saved the Young’s business from flood, now captains a division of their company, Clean Environments. (PHOTO BY DAVID ALLEN ’13)

coaches and 30 baseball players standing there, waiting to go to work,” he remembers. The Bulldogs’ full roster would spend a week—one that was to have been their first week of practice for the upcoming season—moving the furniture and saving the business. “You talk about a godsend: We never could have gotten that stuff out of there on our own,” Young recalls. Hillier says that it not only felt like the right thing to do, returning Young’s favor, but the furniture-rescue mission also gave him a quick sense of just who on the squad was a team player. The team’s captain at the time, Eric Filipek ’97, agrees. “We found out more

about our team in those five days that we helped than we could have found out on the field,” he remembers. “We found out a lot about our coaches at the time as well, because they got in there first and showed us what needed to be done and worked as much as we did.” Filipek took even more away from the experience. After graduating, he coached collegiate baseball for 10 years but then decided he’d pursue something more in line with his management major. “I called the Youngs and, without hesitation, they gave me an interview,” he says. Then they gave him a job, and today he runs a division of the Youngs’ latest company, Clean Environments.


The team roster might have changed in the past 20 years, but the spirit of giving back has not. That kind of perspective, born from community service, is exactly what the university seeks for its student-athletes, Director of Athletics Janet Cone says. On the one hand, the students should succeed in the classroom, and on another, in their respective fields of athletic competition. But there’s a third component. “That’s community service,” Cone says. “What kind of citizens are we? We stress to our staff and our athletes that we’ve been very fortunate and blessed,



several kinds of cancer, from food banks to the Special Olympics.

Head-On Service

Hunter Bryant has a close shave.

and therefore it’s part of our responsibility to be servant leaders and give back to the community.” Consequently, every student-athlete is required to do at least six hours per year of community service. But many do more, notes Director of Student-Athlete Services Rebecca Nelms Keil. In the 2013–14 academic year, she reports, student-athletes and the athletic staff logged 2,500 hours of community service, supporting a wide range of local groups and institutions that tackle everything from early childhood education to

Hunter Bryant, a senior management major from nearby Leicester, who plays first base for the Bulldogs, is normally what you’d consider a clean-cut type. But last year, he grew a full-on mullet. Bryant wasn’t making a fashion statement: He was putting on hair to cut it off later. He’d joined the other members of the baseball team in a pledge campaign for fighting children’s cancer. The pitch to potential sponsors: “If I raise this amount of money, I’m going to get my head shaved at the end of the game.” And a big game at that. In what has become an annual tradition, the team schedules one of its bigger games at McCormick Field in downtown Asheville, drawing a large crowd on a night that’s dedicated to raising funds for both Vs. Cancer, a national program started by a former collegiate ballplayer, and Mission Health’s Children’s Cancer Center. Last May, the pledge drive drew $18,000 for the cause, according to recently retired baseball coach Tom Smith, and $15,000 the year before that, including support from Neal Hanks and Beverly-Hanks. Perhaps surprisingly, it

didn’t take any prodding to get the team involved in the effort. “Most every one of them had someone who’d been affected by cancer in their own family, so it was not a hard sell,” Smith remembers. “It’s voluntary, but everyone has done it in the past two years,” Bryant says. “It’s certainly not a task for us—I mean, we have fun with it. We actually have a blast getting our heads shaved in front of all the fans, and then we go bald for a few weeks. “Even though all of us have a full schedule, and during the season we sometimes hardly even find time to eat, the kids that we’re doing it for are way worse off than us,” Bryant says. “So it puts things into perspective for all of us.” The Bulldog baseball team is looking to the next generation of leaders too, engaging in a community service program at Asheville Middle School. Last fall, 27 players served as mentors or led “Move More” sessions there—creating activities to get kids out of their seats. Keri Pavelock ’14, an AmeriCorps VISTA staffer who’s based at the university, coordinates their placements at the school. The benefits of the outreach and involvement are evident for both the grade-schoolers and the college students, she says. “A lot of the student-athletes are really busy, but they like interacting with the kids, hanging out with them, and feeling like they’re giving something back,” she says. “It teaches them how to lead by example by showing that they went to college, and that their sports and their studies helped them get there. 4

Fresh from a victory and headshaving, the 2013 UNC Asheville baseball team poses for a photo. The fundraising tradition has grown since that first year, with Bulldog fans donating thousands annually to support cancer research.




PERFECT SCORES Bulldogs Aim for 1,000 on the Court and in the Classroom


EDDIE BIEDENBACH was the Bulldogs head coach for 17 seasons from 1996–2013. He led Asheville to a schoolrecord 256 wins, five Big South Conference regular-season titles, three tournament titles and three trips to the NCAA Tournament.

By Mike Gore

Andrew Rowsey is the first player in UNC Asheville history and the second player in Big South history to record 1,000 career points by his sophomore year. The starting guard achieved the milestone during a Big South match against defending conference champion Coastal Carolina on Jan. 22, where his 17 points helped the Bulldogs win, 75-65. The Bulldog basketball star isn’t alone in the 1,000-point goal. Eight of UNC Asheville’s 15 NCAA Division I teams earned a perfect 1,000 points on the 2014 Academic Progress Report (APR), a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each

student-athlete each term. Men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, cross country, and track and field all scored 1,000 in the most recent report.

ANDRE SMITH was a four-year starter for Bulldog basketball in the backcourt and is the school’s eighth all-time leading scorer with 1,495 points. He was the 2000 Big South Rookie of the Year and 2003 Big South Tournament MVP, helping to lead Asheville to the NCAA Tournament.

NEW SOCCER COACH STARTS SPRING SCHEDULE New head men’s soccer coach Mathes Mennell joins the Bulldogs from Loyola Marymount University in California, where he served as an assistant coach for the past 14 years. Before LMU, Mennell served as an assistant at the Air Force Academy

after returning from active duty following graduation from the academy. “We are going to build a program that will be based on character and development of student-athletes. You do that and you win games,” said Mennell at a February press conference.

HILARY MCKAY WILLIAMS is UNC Asheville women’s soccer all-time leader in goals scored


with 53. She set a single-season record for goals scored in 2003 with 21. The Asheville native was the 2002 Big South Rookie of the Year and 2005 Big South Player of the Year. She also helped lead the Bulldogs to two


Big South Conference regularseason championships.

For the latest news, rosters and schedules for all UNC Asheville Division I teams, visit



class notes

DROP US A LINE! We love to hear from

alumni—and so do your classmates! So be sure to send us your accomplishments, career moves, family news and celebrations. Either log on to or send an e-mail to





Lewis Israel Jr. is a retired

Donald Rice retired. He lives in

engineer who lives in Candler. He has four children, Belinda, David, Daniel and Dorothy.

Miami, Fla.

1969 Linda Nelms retired from UNC Asheville in June 2014 after 36 years of teaching and working with students in accounting, management, humanities and undergraduate research.

1971 Steven Coster retired after working for the Department of the Army Civilian for 32 years and contracting for the office of the Secretary of the Defense for seven years. For the past 24 years, Coster worked with Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries selling military equipment and training. He spends his retirement volunteering at public gardens and assisting residents with garden issues.

1982 Dr. Tim Vogler is the department chairman of foot and ankle surgery and the medical director of the limb preservation program at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

1984 Tom Steele co-founded Pittman & Steele PLLC.

1990 Greg Burnette was named “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western North Carolina Chapter.

1991 Tony Rollman married Gayle Valeros on May 10, 2014.

John Howard Smith (MLA ’96) is an associate professor of

history at Texas A&M University— Commerce. He recently published his second book, The First Great

Awakening: Redefining Religion in British America, 1725–1775 .

Anthony Thomas and Alexandria “Jennifer” Bracanovich ’89 have announced their engagement.

Bonnie Upright serves on the national board of directors for the Public Relations Society of America. She is also included in the recently published book Local Legends of Jacksonville.

1992 Kevan Frazier is the executive director of the Western Carolina University Programs at Biltmore Park.

1993 Steve Dunnington celebrated his 20th year at local musical instrument manufacturer Moog Music. He has worked in sales and marketing, as well as for the Moog Engineering Department.


Marchant Harman is the

Allison Jordan was named one

contractor of the N.C. License Plate Agency in South Asheville.

of the 2014 Asheville 40 Under 40 by The Biltmore Beacon .


Mark Robinson was named the

Tim Hardin is the director of pricing & planning at Scripps Networks Interactive in New York City.

chief executive officer of Capital Regional Medical Center, starting in January 2015.


Dr. Pamela Gutbier Allen was named one of the 2014 Asheville 40 Under 40 by The Biltmore Beacon .

Brian Bero founded Modestspark Software in Redmond, Wash., which focuses on building products for registered investment advisers.

financial advisor at Joel Adams, Registered Investment Advisor Representative of Raymond James Financial Services Inc., in Asheville.

Michael Jones and Cheryl Fox Jones had a baby girl named Merritt Ansley Jones on Jan. 20, 2015.

Tiffany Drummond Armstrong is vice president

Wiley Cash and his wife, Mallory Cash, gave birth to a baby girl named Early Elizabeth Cash on Sept. 29, 2014.

of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the world’s largest non-governmental funder of pediatric brain tumor research.

Leigh Ann Henion is the author of Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World ,

Travis Bryenton married Ellen

released by Penguin Books in March 2015.

Pearson on Oct. 18, 2014.

Bray Creech works as a



Sok Heang Cheng was named one of the 2014 Asheville 40 Under 40 by The Biltmore Beacon .

2000 Laura Thuotte Bibb and her husband, Benjamin Bibb, had a daughter named Gaillen Faith Bibb on Oct. 24, 2014.

Carrie MacKichan Simmons and her husband, Lane Simmons, had a baby boy named Blake Andrew Simmons on Dec. 31, 2014.

2001 Jason Boyles and Kristy Fairhurst Boyles had a baby boy, Liam Thomas Boyles, on Jan. 9, 2015.

to excellence Each stride you took at UNC Asheville put you one step closer to your goals. Now help pave the way to excellence for future students with a personalized paver. Your unique message, carved in stone, will become a permanent part of UNC Asheville’s campus. Pavers will be located outside of the Wilma M. Sherrill Center and along Alumni Walk near the Justice Center. Each 12ˇˇ by 12ˇˇsquare costs $230, with net proceeds used to fund scholarships at UNC Asheville. To order, contact or visit





is producing exceptional work in the River Arts District (RAD) in Asheville. And although these four artists didn’t all graduate at the same time, they share a bond created through the education received and time spent in the studio on campus. “UNC Asheville taught me about a work ethic, and Megan [Wolfe, professor of art] showed me I had to take it seriously,” said KYLE CARPENTER , a 2000 graduate. “I spent many, many hours in the studio on campus, and there was nowhere else I wanted to be.” Carpenter stepped into a job at Highwater Clays right out of undergraduate school. It was there he learned the business side of ceramics,

Written by Melissa Stanz • Photos by JameyKay Huffman

working in the warehouse, in retail, and networking with an incredible number of potters and sculptors. He took many classes at Highwater; one of them was an 18-week salt-glaze firing course with Linda McFarling. She proved to be a mentor, inspiring him to create the saltglazed work he does today. After a brief stint as a teacher, Carpenter decided he wanted the lifestyle of a studio potter, so he built a kiln in his backyard and began making pots, attending craft shows to sell his work. He ran across a new gallery in Atlanta called Mudfire and submitted photos. The gallery accepted his work and he exhibited off and on there for almost a decade.

“Mudfire Gallery marketed me, and I was a best-selling potter for them,” he said. “I was featured in Clay Times because of my asso“I spent many, many hours in the studio ciation with Mudfire, on campus, and there was nowhere else and that helped me get into more and I wanted to be.” — Kyle Carpenter ’00 more galleries.”



Today his studio and gallery (Curve Studio) is in Asheville’s River Arts District. He is a juried member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and his works are in many collections, including Charlotte’s Mint Museum. MARIA ANDRADE TROYA , a 2001 graduate, shares studio and gallery space at Curve Studio. From a long line of bakers, Troya works with water and clay instead of flour to create functional pottery that mostly focuses on kitchen items.

A printmaking major, she began working with clay in earnest when she rented a studio in the River Arts District with a friend who had a pottery wheel. An internship at Odyssey Clay (now Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts) allowed her to take many classes and workshops. “After my experience at Odyssey, I began to focus; I like pattern and consistency, and later I started drawing on pottery using a slip-trailer. I use printmaking tools now, so I’ve come full circle in the last decade,” she explained.



Her time at UNC Asheville helped her build lasting relationships, and she notes that her experience with Wolfe was a turning point for her career. “There are a ton of UNC Asheville graduates that are still doing their art. I run into a lot of people at craft shows. Although many people don’t do it fulltime, they continue to create amazing work,” she said. Nontraditional student HEATHER KNIGHT, a 2006 graduate, came to UNC Asheville after going to another school, and she was determined to be successful and make her living doing art. The moment she set foot in the ceramics studio on campus she knew what she wanted to do. “I probably spent more time in the studio than anyone, and after countless hours of practice, I graduated and completed a residency at Odyssey and taught in Greenville at the museum,” she said. “I also set up a shop on Etsy.” Creating an Etsy store was a very good idea; Interior Design Magazine found her online and dedicated a full page to her work. She also founded Element, a group studio in downtown Asheville.

Knight works exclusively in porcelain using a white color palette, creating tiles, bowls, and curios that are inspired by the natural world. Her art has been exhibited nationwide and in France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Dubai. She knows what it takes to be successful in a highly competitive business.

That project defined my body of work and the methodologies I use today.” Copus has two studio collectives in RAD, Clayspace and Foundation Clay. He has another studio in Marshall that includes his kiln and most of his operations. Using funds provided by the Windgate Fellowship he received while at UNC Asheville, he built a 27-footlong woodfired climbing chamber kiln in Marshall. Those funds also allowed him to start Clayspace and propelled

“You have to be focused and spend your time wisely. The most important thing is to spend time on your art; you must practice to get better,” she said, “I work “The most important thing is to long hours and am very spend time on your art; you must determined, and I’m constantly looking for outlets practice to get better.” — Heather Knight ’06 to learn more.” JOSH COPUS , a 2006 gradu-

ate, creates his pottery using clay from Madison County; but the roots of his art date to undergraduate research in the art department.

him from being a student to becoming a professional. Today he works with galleries across the country and sells his work all over the world.

“I participated in an undergrad research scholarship program. It was an amazing experience,” he said. “My project was about ceramic materials and local clays, and I was digging clay out of the ground.

“I came to UNC Asheville to work in different mediums and get a well-rounded art education,” he said. “I am grateful that we were encouraged to be selfdirected and create our own work.”




Cathy McFalls and Rickie McFalls II ’02 had a baby girl named Addison Grace McFalls on Sept. 22, 2014.

2002 Rachel Cook married Matt McMillan on Sept. 20, 2014.

Ashley Brooks Simon and her husband, Jesse Simon, gave birth to a baby boy named Emmett Oliver Simon. He joins big sister Leila Harper Simon.

2003 Courtney Elise Crawford

married Mario Maturell ’14 on Dec. 21, 2014.

Jody Howard and his wife, Anna Howard, welcomed their second child, August Burton Howard, on Sept. 20, 2014.

Matthew Raker was named one of the 2014 Asheville 40 Under 40 by The Biltmore Beacon .

Jeremy Shrader was promoted to director of Carruthers & Roth P.A.

Bryan White composes and plays electric and upright bass live and in the studio for various Asheville artists. He leads Up Jumped Three, a jazz trio, and released a solo CD in October 2014. He also competes regionally in distance running events and had several overall and age-group wins in 2013 and 2014.

2004 Clinton Barden and Victoria Barden ’08 had a baby boy named Samuel Thomas Barden on Dec. 28, 2014.

Jetta Baynard and her husband, John Baynard, had a baby girl named Gracie.



Matthew Mastin and his wife, Lauren Mastin, welcomed a baby boy named Alex Edward Mastin on Sept. 8, 2014.

Tara Sanders and her husband, Michael Sanders, had a baby girl named Olivia “Olive” Claire Sanders on Feb. 10, 2015.

2005 Sarah V. Goodman is the chaplain of spiritual care at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

Diana Manee was named one of the 2014 Asheville 40 Under 40 by The Biltmore Beacon .

2006 Kristina Jonas received a B.S. in nursing in 2010. She has been married to Alex Jonas for four years, and they have a son named Evan. She is starting a legal nurse consultancy business.

Shannon Watkins is a broker associate at Beverly-Hanks and Associates Realtors in Asheville.

2007 Stephen Burnich and Amanda Burnich ’06 had a baby girl named Greta Cecile Burnich on Jan. 30, 2015.

2008 Stephanie Casey Fuhs and Matthew Fuhs ’07 had their first child, Thomas Maxwell, on July 18, 2014.

Tasha Lewis had twin boys named Oliver and Maxwell on Sept. 16, 2014.

Silvia Meyer had a baby boy named Noah Adam Meyer on Aug. 6, 2014.

2009 Erin Coleman and her husband, Brett Coleman, are expecting their first child in April 2015.

Julie Luong works as a middle school social studies and special education teacher in Orange County, Calif. Stephani Pelchat Vick married Brian Vick on Aug. 31, 2014. They live in Fort Collins, Colo.

Shanna Peele and her husband, Blake Peele, gave birth to a son named Oliver Buerleigh Peele on Feb. 4, 2015.

Mary Catherine Grant is currently completing her sixth year of teaching at David Cox Road Elementary in Charlotte. In July, she will enter the mission field for 11 months with The World Race, where she’ll serve people in 11 countries. Her work abroad will be documented at www.marycatherinegrant.

2010 Jessika Carney and Brandon Bond ’12 were married on Sept. 6, 2014.

Greg Hicks is the executive assistant and special projects coordinator at the Mecklenburg County Bar.

Samantha Little and Zachary Winecoff became engaged on Dec. 6, 2014.

Christine Quinley and Gabe Quinley were married on Oct. 4, 2014.

2011 Lydia Cauley completed volunteer work for Americorps and works at a full time job in Swansboro. She also attends graduate school at Duke Divinity School.

Andrew Waight began law school at the West Virginia University College of Law in August 2014. Jonathan Williams and his wife, Whitney Williams, had a baby girl named Selah Wren Williams on Dec. 6, 2014.

2013 Amanda Glenn-Bradley received a master’s degree in library and information studies from UNC Greensboro. She works as a user engagement librarian at UNC Asheville.

Carrie Roth teaches high school English in Union County Public Schools.

Amber White is a technical multimedia communications director at Advanced Simulation Technology Inc. in Herndon, Va.

2015 Jack Derbyshire is a software engineer at IBM in the Research Triangle Park.

IN MEMORIAM Patrick Tebo ’73, October 2014 Celeste Dulin ’82, October 2014 Patricia Queen ’48, November 2014 Jeanne Griffin Gochenour ’81, January 2015 Harriet Storms Manley ’94, February 2015

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Where art meets science

Hands-on learning and critical thinking provide a powerful focus for new media majors, and students work side-by-side with faculty to create careers in fields such as animation and video production.


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Homegrown Research UNC Asheville practically invented undergraduate research, founding one of the top conferences in the nation—the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in 1987 and hosting the first two conferences. NCUR returns home in spring 2016. (Photo by David Allen ’13)

UNC Asheville Magazine Spring 2015  

UNC Asheville Magazine is published twice a year to give alumni and friends an accurate, lively view of the university—its people, programs...